Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Wolfeboro, NH

  • Published 2023/02/14

The resort town area of Wolfeboro lies in Carroll County, New Hampshire.

This town teems with famous tourist locations close to Lake Winnipesaukee, natural scenic areas, and the touch of rich history.

In 1759, Governor John Wentworth granted the Wolfeboro area to four gentlemen from Portsmouth. The place got its name from the war hero, General Wolfe, who won the Battle of Quebec.

Wolfeboro was granted by Governor John Wentworth in 1759 to four gentlemen from Portsmouth.

The area got its name from the war hero, General Wolfe, who won the Battle of Quebec.

In 1768, the town became settled. Two years later, it became officially incorporated.

Its significant early industries were agriculture, lumber, and wood products.

Tourism began to flourish at the end of the Civil War and the construction of the Wolfeboro Railroad in 1872.

Over the decades, the town became a famous summer colony, earning the nickname “The Oldest Summer Resort in America.”

It also became a favorite retirement destination because of its year-round leisure activities and unique New England charm.

You’ll see critical historical highlights in Wolfeboro town, like the Wright Museum and New Hampshire Boat Museum, and magnificent natural settings by surrounding ponds and lakes.

Here’s a list of the best things to do in this resort town:

Explore Peculiar Finds at Libby Museum

Exterior of the Libby Museum

User:Fletcher6, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the peculiar exhibits of resident and collector Dr. Henry Libby at the Libby Museum in downtown Wolfeboro.

This attraction is the oldest natural history museum in the state.

It has welcomed curious visitors and tourists since its foundation over a hundred years ago.

Feast your eyes on the odd collection of birds, animals, artifacts, and peculiarities from countries like China and nearby areas.

Interior of Libby Museum

User:Fletcher6, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

View Dr. Libby’s “curiosity cabinets,” where many of his original antique objects are on display.

See the fantastic extensive taxidermy exhibit and know more about how the museum evolved.

They also have a program for kids, a nature path, and art exhibits you and your kids can enjoy.

Discover Rich History at Clark House Museum Complex

Sitting on the beautiful spacious grounds of Clark Park on South Main St., you can see historic structures and exhibits at the Clark House Museum Complex.

Tour the 1778 Clark House, which used to be a farmhouse on a 100-acre farm, and then a tavern and inn.

Take a peek at the quaint Pleasant Valley School House, a single-room schoolhouse built in 1805.

Check out the replica of an old-fashioned firehouse with antique fire equipment like hand-drawn and horse-drawn pumps and fire engines.

Drop by the reconstructed 1820s barn featuring an exhibit of vintage items unique to the period.

Visit the center’s research center, library, and town archives containing genealogies and deed histories.

The Wolfeboro Historical Society and Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department manage the Complex.

They also offer programs, special exhibits, and tours.

Have Some Downtime at Bean Park

Stop by Bean Park for some downtime and fresh air to end your day on a good note.

The Bean family donated the park in 2011 to Wolfeboro, with assistance from the Wolfeboro Conservation Commission and Wolfeboro-Tuftonboro Land Bank.

This “pocket park” in the downtown area is a good place for an afternoon picnic, a quick stroll, or even some ice cream.

You can make the Bridge Falls Path your bike stop or just have a moment to enjoy the Back Bay views.

Bean Park is one of the many public parks to enjoy downtown and an excellent place to catch some city views.

Watch Hockey Leagues at Pop Whalen Ice & Arts Center

Practice some skates or watch an ice hockey game at Pop Whalen Ice & Arts Center.

The town of Wolfeboro operates this center as an Enterprise Fund.

Likewise, the center hosts various Lakes and Seacoast Regions hockey leagues.

Facilities are also available for rental to private groups, games, functions, practices, and events.

You can use the rink for lap skating, stick practices, and public skating on regular days.

They offer the lowest fees for ice skate rentals in the state, and you’ll use excellent well-lit facilities, locker rooms, and changing rooms.

You can also bite some snacks at the snack bar.

Enjoy a Relaxing Day at Lake Wentworth and Wentworth State Park

Ice sailing on the beautiful Lake Wentworth

Raymond Douglas Ewing /

Spanning 3,097 acres, the serene Lake Wentworth is the seventh-largest lake in New Hampshire.

You can easily access and enjoy its lake waters by Wentworth State Park.

This 50-acre public recreation spot on Lake Wenthworth’s north shore is the perfect spot to relax for the day.

Calm waters of Lake Wentworth

Ken Gallager, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Want to get the most out of this tranquil location?

Launch that boat or go fishing on the docks, chill for a picnic, or dive in the calm waters.

You can also enjoy park amenities like picnic tables, grills, and restrooms.

Bike Your Way through the Sewall Woods Conservation Area

Centered in Wolfeboro town, a few meters from Main Street, the Sewall Woods Conservation Area covers 179 acres of woodlands.

Its extensive trail path is excellent for low-impact recreation and nature tripping.

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust manages the area, connecting with the Abenaki trail network.

It spans a total of 18 miles of trail.

The Abenaki to Sewall Woods route starts from the Abenaki Ski Area leading to Wolfeboro’s downtown area, and ends at the conservation area.

This path is easy and great for bike rides, walking, and viewing the natural landscapes.

Discover Everything about Boats at the New Hampshire Boat Museum

The New Hampshire Boat Museum or NHBM teaches you everything about boats through hands-on programs and events.

In 1992, boating enthusiasts started NHBM to help them share their passion.

Its original name was the “New Hampshire Antique and Classic Boat Museum,” later renamed to focus on the museum’s mission.

The museum operates from the Allen “A” hall located on Route 28 north on the edge of Wolfeboro.

See the exhibits of different boats, motors, and various related items.

Ride in a replica of the vintage Millie B., a 1928 Hacker Craft with a triple cockpit.

Join educational programs like boat-building classes, model yachting, and yacht kit-building classes.

You might also watch boat shows and events.

These events include the annual Alton Bay Boat show and the biennial Vintage Race Boat Regatta.

You might even want to join the yearly New England Vintage Boat & Car Auction.

Enjoy Calm Waters at Albee Beach

A quick swim at Albee Beach will do the trick if you need some beach break.

You can access this secluded and quiet beach from east of Route 28 across from the spot called “The Nick.”

Locals usually flock to this location in the afternoons, enjoying the beauty of Lake Wentworth.

Albee Beach is also home to the town’s Community Sailing Program.

Relax and eat at the picnic tables with the provided charcoal grills provided.

You can also ride your bike on the Cotton Valley Trail or wade in the calm waters under the prickly sun.

Swim with precaution as there are no lifeguards in the area, and get beach passes to park your vehicle.

Enjoy Skiing at Abenaki Ski Area

One of the best ways to enjoy Wolfeboro is skiing in the winter season at Abenaki’s Ski Area.

The community owns and operates the oldest small ski area in the region.

It’s also one of the 10 oldest ski areas in the US and home to the Abenaki Ski Team.

The area has seven trails, a high-speed rope tow, and a terrain park, providing the best conditions for the sport.

They also offer glade skiing and night skiing.

There’s also a small lodge with a wood stove if you want to relax, so you’ll surely get that peaceful small-town ambiance.

Don’t worry about your budget because you can get these amenities at an affordable price.

Learn about the World War II Era at the Wright Museum of World War II

Exterior of Wright Museum of World War II

Osipjag, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1994, the Wright Museum of World War II opened to honor the contributions and legacy of World War II Americans.

David Wright founded the institution. He envisioned promoting the exceptional efforts of those who served during World War II.

See the carefully preserved permanent collections of items from 1939 to 1945, with over 14,000 objects collected from the home front and battlefield.

View the fully operational military vehicles on exhibit, photographs, memorabilia, preserved records, and paintings representing World War II events.

You’ll surely appreciate the patriotism and history in this museum.

The recently featured special exhibitions include WASP: The Untold Story, D-Day photographs, the Associated Press exhibit Memories of World War II, and Norman Rockwell in the 1940s: A View of the American Home Front, among others.

Spend an Afternoon at the Charming Cate Park

Cate Park is a lovely spot in downtown Wolfeboro with a stunning view of Wolfeboro Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee.

This landscaped park features flowers in bloom, grass areas, and rows of shade trees.

It’s the perfect place to have lunch, eat some ice cream or enjoy the view.

Summer in Cate Park becomes lively as you’ll see new sets of sculptures every season tucked in the plants and flower beds to surprise you.

You’ll also see the Cate Park Band perform at the bandstand every Wednesday night.

Every Saturday night, different guest bands show their talent in various genres like oldies, bluegrass, and big band.

It’s worth seeing a park with such a charming setting.

Grab Local Produce at Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market

Get your pick of fresh and quality local produce at Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market.

The town’s farmers market started in 2002 with the vision of local farmers and residents to create an avenue to directly sell goods.

Since then, local vendors have increased, and support from locals and visitors to Wolfeboro has begun to grow.

Besides selling local products, the farmers’ market also introduced workshops like home gardening, food preparation and preservation, and homestead skills.

The busy market opens every Thursday at Clark Park from May to October.

It becomes a winter market at the Brookfield Town House from November to April.

Find good buys of meats, dairy, baked goods, flowers, and more.

There’s also good music to enjoy from local performers and string bands while you grab some tasty snacks or drinks.

Join or watch the Granite Man Triathlon

You can either participate or watch the Granite Man Triathlon that begins and ends at the Carry Beach on Forest Road.

The yearly triathlon takes place on the third Saturday of August.

It draws more than 350 triathletes from New England and other countries.

The race includes a ¾ mile swim, a 15-mile bike ride, and a 4.2-mile run and starts early morning until noon.

It’s open for individuals or teams, and both first-timers and experienced participants can join.

The triathlon’s proceeds go to the Albert Dow III scholarship, intended for a Kingston High School graduate who has shown selfless service.

Whether you’re joining the race or cheering, the race is all about having fun.

Have Some Quiet Time at Carry Beach

Carry Beach hosts the annual Granite Man Triathlon.

It’s also the home of the famous Water Aerobics program during the summer months.

Many people love this beach for its secluded and peaceful location and shallow waters, just suitable for families with young swimmers.

Set up your beach towels and lay back on the sands for some tan and calm.

The beach is also open year-round from sunrise to sunset, so you’ll get a stunning view no matter when you visit.

Lifeguards are on duty from morning until afternoon from mid-June to August months.

The beach is open to the public for ice fishing, skiing, and other activities in the winter months.

Unwind at the Front Bay Conservation Area

Front Bay Park is a parcel of woodland found on Bay Street, along the shores of Back Bay.

The sheltered paths offer great locations to watch some birds, view wildlife and have a picnic.

A new trails system finished in 2012, along with a new picnic pavilion and a kayak and canoe landing.

The conservation area is a great nature retreat where you can just walk through lines of abundant woodland trees.

It’s one of Wolfeboro’s natural attractions that will help you unwind.

Explore the Outdoors at Elie’s Woodland Walk

New Hampshire contains many woodland areas to enjoy. One of them is Elie’s Woodland Walk, located at Ryefield Marsh, Route 109.

The Conservation Commission and Parks and Recreation oversee this area.

This gorgeous marsh receives its water supply from the north part of Lake Wentworth.

You can view wildlife creatures like beavers, deer, moose, and birds like herons.

Watch a Concert at Kingswood Arts Center

Kingswood Arts Center is a beautiful, modern building that’s a fantastic way to watch a local concert or performance in Wolfeboro.

The arts center is owned and managed by Kingswood Regional High School, so oftentimes, there are plenty of youth shows here such as ballet and other dance performances.

Both the facade and interiors of Kingswood Arts Center is a delight to see, especially if you love architecture involving performing arts theaters.

Seating is also comfy and the venue isn’t too big, making this an intimate place to have a date or spend some quality time with your family.

You can visit Kingswood Arts Center along McManus Road.

Take a Dip at Brewster Beach

If you want to utilize the waters of Wolfeboro, Brewster Beach is a great addition to your itinerary, found near Academy Drive.

One of the best aspects of this beach is it’s just a few minutes away from Downtown Wolfeboro, making this one of the most convenient places to access the waters that surround the city.

Another great feature of Brewster Beach is that its sandy beach goes all the way beneath its shallow waters which makes swimming a comfortable and fun experience.

This is a popular hangout spot for the locals of Wolfeboro, so it’s a great destination if you want to get a feel of the city.

On top of its sandy beach, there’s also a nice shaded area full of trees where you can do some photography or some strolling.

Go Trekking at Brewster Heath Preserve

Brewster Heath Preserve is a nature preserve in Wolfeboro that has amazing forestry, a great representation of the rich flora found in New Hampshire.

During the winter, Brewster Heath Preserve becomes clad in snow, so it’s a great place to do some skiing or sledding—or simply enjoying its snowy tracks.

However, perhaps the best time to enjoy this place is during fall, when there’s a ton of foliage that makes this an Instagram-worthy attraction.

While Brewster Heath Preserve may seem like a dense forest, it has paved walking trails that have several guides and signages which makes it family-friendly and educational.

You can access Brewster Heath Preserve along McManus Road.

Experience Lake Winnipesaukee at McKinney Park

Located along Clark Road lies one of the best parks in Wolfeboro—McKinney Park.

It’s a scenic park located right along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, making it a must-visit if you want to maximize your trip to Wolfeboro.

The park isn’t too big, and it’s not often visited by locals—making it a great place for respite after a busy day.

A couple of picnic tables can be found here, and there’s a rocky beach that’s a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Whether you’re here for scenic lakefront photography or water activities, McKinney Park has you covered.

Have a Picnic at Foss Field

Foss Field is one of the best family oriented destinations in Wolfeboro, known for being an all-around recreational space.

It has a variety of amenities, ranging from sports ones like a baseball diamond, basketball courts, tennis courts, and pickleball courts.

However, one of the most popular activities here are picnics, mostly because of its beautiful greenery with plenty of shade.

Beyond that, Foss Field also gives you access to Back Bay, a sizable body of water that’s a scenic way to experience the heart of Wolfeboro’s community.

Found along Lehner Street, Foss Field is one of the best destinations to have an authentic experience of Wolfeboro.

Final Thoughts

Wolfeboro is a tourist town with so much to offer visitors.

It has plenty of delightful water attractions for relaxation, like lakes and beaches.

The town is also rich in remarkable historic and notable museums that offer a great learning experience.

Visit the lively town of Wolfeboro with different relaxing attractions in whatever season.

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